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Caterpillar North America Sales Collapse Suggests US Economy Back To 2010 Levels

Tyler Durden's picture


While we have wondered on numerous occasions previously if the collapse in lumber prices is the far more accurate indicator of end demand for housing (as confirmed by the recent collapse in multi-family housing starts), perhaps an even better indicator of trends in housing (and by implication the broader economy) is private sector intermediate end demand, such as Caterpillar North America sales, which unlike government data, are far less subject to political intervention, interpolation, guesswork, seasonal adjustments and otherwise, general manipulation.

And even though we have previously reported on the woes ailing the world's largest seller of bulldozers, excavators and wheel loaders, such focus was primarily targeted in the offshore markets, and especially China (the abysmal European market needs no mention). So maybe the time has come to shift attention to the US, where as Caterpillar just reported, not only are all foreign markets still trending at several impacted levels, but where US machine retail sales just saw the biggest tumble in three years, falling 18% Y/Y: the most since early 2010. What is more disturbing is that CAT equipment is used in far-broader economic activities than merely housing, and likely is a far more accurate indicator of true industrial end-demand than any other number cherry-picked by the government.

Whether one can extrapolate general trends in the US economy based on how Caterpiller is doing in its North American market, is an open-ended (rhetorical) question which we leave to readers.

However, maybe a far better question is whether CAT NA sales is the same true proxy for the state of the US economy, as electric consumption - that Achilles heel of Chinese economic data manipulation - is to China.

Compare and contrast the chart above, with the chart below, showing the collapse in Chinese electricity consumpion.

If the answer is yes, and if indeed both the US and Chinese economies are now operating at a true level not seen since 2010, then just how bad is the rest of the world, if somehow the US continues to be perceived as the cleanest dirty shirt while the world's fastest marginal growing economy is in fact, crashing to earth?

Source: CAT Dealer Statistics


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Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:53 | 3580465 spine001
spine001's picture


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:58 | 3580484 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Indeed.  That ain't good: Cat sales down here and China electric power going nowhere.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:02 | 3580501 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

China electric power use appears to be an almost picture perfect leading indicator for Cat sales, which is an almost perfect leading indicator for ?

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:04 | 3580511 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

QE halt will be violent for the market: Fed Fisher

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:11 | 3580538 spine001
spine001's picture

QE halt is the only option we have, and as soon as possible...

By creating financial projects with higher NPVs than real projects and with similar or even lower risk, QEs are killing economic growth. QE to infinity while avoiding the pain today will destroy the real economy on its path. No CEO can invest in projects with lower NPV than the alternative similar risk investment. And while the music of QEs around the world keeps on playing there are very few real economy projects with better NPVs (NPV = net present value)

Until next time,


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:14 | 3580553 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

Who cares about "growth" when money is free.

Stock market is for loading up on free money these days.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:18 | 3580574 FL_Conservative
FL_Conservative's picture

Government-sponsored reporting is manipulated?   Whoda thunk it?

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:01 | 3580785 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Yes and no...  I have a sneaking suspicion that many of those who choose to forgo financial assets for more "real" projects may be tremendously benefited in the future and the rates of return today aren't necessarily indicative of tomorrow...  kind of like "implied odds" in poker.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:24 | 3580609 yogibear
yogibear's picture

All jawboning. They can't stop. Most people realize this. It's like the little boy crying wolf. After while nobody listen's to the fed talking about curtailing QE.

Go away Fisher. The group of Fed members now running the show are all avid money printers. They print until the US dollar crashes and burns,. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:03 | 3580502 Doubleguns
Doubleguns's picture

Don't worry, Benny and the Jets (85 billion) can fix it.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:28 | 3580907 General Decline
General Decline's picture

Benny and the ink Jets

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:54 | 3580470 thismarketisrigged
thismarketisrigged's picture

and with this news, cat is up 1.15 percent today.


fundementals suck so bad, we know that, but unfortunately this market has gone a long time without trading on fundementals.


its all ben ben ben and print print print.


its truly frightning

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:59 | 3580491 augustusgloop
augustusgloop's picture

Lower sales = Less operational risk. Buy.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:05 | 3580515 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Back-up the [797F mining] truck....

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:20 | 3580593 spine001
spine001's picture

This is exactly what I meant, even CAT is better off investing in SPY than in their own business. So who will invest in buying goods producing assets from CAT? Only a fool without access to a finance degreed employee. Meaning most of us!

While QE lasts, the destruction of our productive system will continue. Those who produce real goods and services are getting poorer and poorer by doing that --> therefore microeconomy 101 says that fewer and fewer economic agents will remain doing it, until when? Well until the system breaks (first deflation since people won't have the money to buy the available goods and services and consumption will go down, then production falls below needs and demand is activated, as demand activates and there are not enough goods and services, prices will skyrocket up as people start calling on their paper assets to survive, which brings those down and the cycle will feed on itself, In modern times, this already happened in Argentina, where the value of the peso today is 10 quadrillion times higher than the value of the peso in 1969, and life still goes on... so if you think it impossible for this to happen, Argentina is living proof that it isn't!!! and no going back to the stone age (although, very few ethical values and morals remained)


Until next time,



Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:09 | 3580530 Doubleguns
Doubleguns's picture

Fundementals are now manipumentals or Elmer Fuddamentals. Take you pick. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:00 | 3580777 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

This would be funny if it weren't for what it is ultimately going to do to us.  Will you kill a neighbor to eat? 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:06 | 3580804 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

F yeah!  They taste just like chicken.

Wendigo Meats, LLC.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:13 | 3580549 Chief Falling Knife
Chief Falling Knife's picture

When CAT reported earnings last month, and missed consensus estimates badly, the stock was up almost 3% that day too.  First miss on earnings since early 2011, and misses on revenue now 4 out of the last 5 quarters.

But apparently none of that matters with magical QE floating around... into TBTF bank reserves and trading accounts.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:23 | 3580607 spine001
spine001's picture

You are correct, it doesn't matter. 85 billion per month of POMO (QE) overwhelms a decrease in sales by CAT. If it had increased its sales and the economy would be moving forward, CAT would have gone up by 30% since the effect is not symmetrical. Once the fire starts we will all burn due to hyperinflation, but while the money is not going anywhere, nothing happens. This is equivalent to try to heat a city in winter by pooering GAS in the streets. When the spark hits, you'll be warm!!!

Until next time,


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:38 | 3580962 Dan Conway
Dan Conway's picture

CAT's market cap is about $59 billion right now.  Ben and the inkjets could buy them within several weeks.  I just don't know if the fed can buy stocks outright :)!

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:52 | 3581016 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Good point, spine. i see a flood of money being 'tied up' and when it is finally released --in wages, sales, etc-- asset prices will rise substantially as tends to happen when too much money runs after too few assets.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:29 | 3580911 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

Yesterday, while watching Lou Dobbs, the CAT stock increase from Friday scrolled across the screen and I blurted out to my 7-yo daughter: "If the Fed wasn't printing $85B a month, I'd short the crap out of CAT."  I knew she didn't understand "short" and "CAT", but I just couldn't hold it in.  This article and today's market reaction validated me on both points.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:55 | 3580472 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Very bad?

And that is why the pedal is to the metal for QE.

No one really wants to get a taper worm ... talk down markets a bit, perhaps. Smooth the mania. That's about it.


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:26 | 3580623 spine001
spine001's picture

The QE pedal IS NOT to the floor, GOD help us if they do that. The FED has NO limit whatsoever about how much QE they can do. Given the degree of hubris, carelessness about the potential risks and consequences of what they are doing that they have shown up to date, I am scared of their power... NOBODY should have that much power over our lives...

Until next time,


Note: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:58 | 3580475 Fidel Sarcastro
Fidel Sarcastro's picture

So i guess CAT will get ANOTHER upgrade then?


CAT lost money in the last Q, PROMISED to lose more as the global economy slows and had a Chinese division get nailed with accounting FRAUD...and was upgraded.


Yup - normal now.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:02 | 3580500 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

And to think these A-Holes LOVED Obamacare and in fact, became props for Obungles when he was trying to RAM the Bill up our asses. 

CAT. SCREW YOU, ya Jerks you deserve nothing less...

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:13 | 3580552 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

I may be wrong, but my recollection is that CAT management was NOT a fan of OBAMACARE and was suprised when the EWNC (Emporer with No Clothes) used them as a prop. They were among the first to announce the expected negative financial impact from the law.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:56 | 3580476 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Didn't you hear that compnies like Cat and Walmart no longer reflect what is going on in the U.S economy? Now when Cisco beats that's a sign life is good, because you can't have too many routers...doncha know? 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:19 | 3580864 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

CAT << Cat6a

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:34 | 3580945 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Doesn't Cisco have the contract for the police state routers?

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:56 | 3580477 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

maybe if BB would quit bullshit'n and increase the rate of the stock market climb bitchezz would be buying more dozers.. why wont  Shumer tell that nigga to get busy-er?

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:58 | 3580483 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I guess that explains why the stock is up more than $1??? WTF, this market is a fuckin joke.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:08 | 3580509 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Massive stock buy-back.

This action has a multiplier effect on stock prices.  It reduces the availability of "common" stock for purchase.

Its the current rage with all the big boys.

And best of all... they get to use funds borrowed at 0.00%

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 19:49 | 3582302 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

A stock buy back indicates clearly that the Company can find no investments at all which would create wealth. This points to an ecomony that is not growing.

Coupled with M&A its a very poor outlook for the future.

Well done Mr Bernanke you have strangled the Cat

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:58 | 3580486 jubber
jubber's picture

CAT currently up over $1

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:59 | 3580492 madbraz
madbraz's picture

I'll give it less than a month until CAT comes out saying that it will not provide these figures anymore, much like WMT.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:00 | 3580498 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

Time to get our $$$ really debased....obviously Kubota is enjoying an unwarranted advantage over Cat....the Feds need to get going on this and stop the silly talk about tapering....


....and speaking of about that report today concerning cadmium levels found in their rice? Fortunately, rice is not an important part of their diet and the government's advice to cut back on its consumption should adequately address that potential problem.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:03 | 3580504 Flounder
Flounder's picture

Whew...that's a big relief.  Please no more talk of tapering off the money printing.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:03 | 3580505 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

How many my silver bears trapped down in the well after last night's tease ?  Enjoy it bitchezz!

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:04 | 3580512 venturen
venturen's picture

What if you measured it in renewables...would it go up then? 
We could measure in name plate capacity! 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:06 | 3580520 Sutton
Sutton's picture

" we are never,ever raising rates"   Taylor Bernanke

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:07 | 3580521 Zen Bernanke
Zen Bernanke's picture

tough break for caterpillar, but the market don't give a shit. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:09 | 3580528 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

I'm not seeing many housing starts around here. The land the city opened for construction and spent lots of money providing untilites to sits empty and the woods is growing back in. The city bonded and built roads and sewers for several hundred new homes in a town of 3,400 people!

Yes, I said 3,400 people! This was right at the bigging of the bust. I warned the city council that they were putting us in debt for homes that would not be built in our lifetimes. I said the hosuing bust was coming, if not already here. They told me I was nuts, and that we aould be a destination community for those seeking a quite town within 30 miles of a regional medical and educational center. Small regional, but there are some jobs there. I said, people don't want to drive 60 miles a day when winter lasts 6 months and gas is spiking. Nope, gotta look forward,

So now we owe on the bonds, and developers are not building on all their lots. Last year two homes went up on a hundred lots. One was built by a developer to retire into. We built his raod and sewer for him.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:34 | 3580662 spine001
spine001's picture

Jack Burton, I accompany you in your feelings. it is a terrible thing in life to be able to see clearly what is coming, just  because you can see 20 moves ahead in a chess game when most people can only see 1 or 2. It is not a gift, it is an incredible pain. And attempting to explain yourself all the time only builds you a phame of being "nuts". As you well say.

I wish I was a lot dammer and could enjoy life like others that have NO clue about what is happenign, since what will happen will, whether I am in pain about it or not.

For instance the CADMIUM in rice was foreordained since Fukushima, how did it help to KNOW that from day one? How much did it help anybody that I knew how many babies were dying all over the world due to Fukushima... How did it help anybody the open letter I sent to Bernanke attempting to explain to him in 2009 why his thesis was wrong and QE was only going to make things worse and not help recover from the crisis?

Only sharing you pain.

Until next time,


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 14:01 | 3581048 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

I wish I was a lot dammer ..."

A 'lot damner' or a 'lot younger' ... before and after ...  

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 15:09 | 3581311 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

I wish I was little bit taller
I wish I was a baller
I wish I had a girl who looked good
I would call her
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat
And a six four Impala

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:09 | 3580531 thismarketisrigged
thismarketisrigged's picture

in this market, ibm, cat, wmt, mmm,fdx,ups, they are not the leading indicators for the economy, they r irrelevant,


csco on the other hand is where we should be looking. that is what indicates a good and healthy economy. 


come on guys, dont you know. 


also, if i ever hear any analysis try to tell me earnings are important in this market,  i will punch a whole through my wall.


take mmm for example. they missed horribly in there last earnings, the stock is now up 4 dollars more than what the price was before the last earnings report.


ibm, same thing, horrendous earnings report, stock is pretty much back to where it sold off from, and should be at 230 by weeks end.


things dont make sense, hopefully 1 day they will again.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:10 | 3580534 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture


(1) Sales of major equipment producers can be volatile.

(2) CAT may be losing market share. To look at one company in isolation to the entire market segment could be misleading.

(3) Are there disruptive technologies impacting sales we are not aware of?

(4) Is there correlation between CAT YOY or MOM sales and recession? The data given is not clear at all.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 14:04 | 3581055 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

YOY misleads in this case; looks like a recovery in 2012 from yr or so before, ... better to average over a longer period and make an obs ...


Tyler 'does this' just to test the comprehension of readers, 'chart interpreters'.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:10 | 3580535 abatis
abatis's picture

CAT, like GE, finances a fair share of thier sales. It will be interesting to see how the finance side does if the slowdown is real. The other explanation for the chart could be market share being taken by Komatsu, Volvo etal and not just the economy.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:51 | 3580997 Dan Conway
Dan Conway's picture

I wouldn't worry about their customer financing.  I am sure they are abusing I mean using exim bank just like GE does. 

And if some pesky japanese company takes a couple of points of market share from cat's equipment made in Brazil,  I am sure that one of the distinguished senators or representatives will see that the exim spigots to assist CAT. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:16 | 3580559 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

QE5 is obviously buying stocks in secret due to the utter humiliation of failure.  Once again putting the cart in front of the horse, and setting up a bigger failure. 

If you want this shit fixed, let gold rise until it backs the dollar, default on the US debt, zero out every mortgage the Fed and Treasury have a claim on because when they hold it, the economy is effectively buying it twice (once by the owner, and once by devaluation or taxation for the gov/Fed to buy it).  Get the customer banks out of the trading business NOW.  Get the investment banks off the bank holding company list NOW. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:55 | 3580763 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

That would effectively put obama's plan in high gear and Soros would make, what $10 trillion, on his put?  Think Bank of England x 5 million.  Any wonder homeland security is buying up all the hollow points?  They know the jig will be up eventually and they believe their going to have to fight We the People (make that 'kill' We the People).  This is going to end as the sorriest story in the history of the world....muthafuckas - why doesn't somebody grow a pair and impeach obuma?

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:50 | 3581007 Dan Conway
Dan Conway's picture

Sorriest and most predictable story in the history of the world. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:20 | 3580568 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

It's called the collateral damage from trying to manipulate the metals markets.

Catepillar bet big on expansion in the mining sector for the higher margin sales that mining equipment brings vs their construction equipment division. Lets face it the profit is in the big industrial size earth moving mega machines and not dozoers and backhoes.

Now with metal prices falling nobody in their right mind running a mine will be making big cap-ex. And, their darling dow component cat is losing money.

WAY TO GO BERNANKE. This gov't seems intent on destroying the few sectors that had any promise.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:37 | 3580679 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

If they are so desperate about their currency that they have to wipe out a whole sector and all of its jobs, what is really going on?  You would think the Keyneisans would love gold mining at least as useless "make work" in their perverted paradigm.  They have the stupid idea that money should be buried and then dug up as a "make work" job.  Why not just dig up the real thing in a real economy?

Our entire central planning boondoggle reminds of some creepy Anton Lavey statements.  "Satanists should do everything backwards to confuse people".  If stocks should implode, make them go up.  If gold should go up, make it go down.  If money printing causes inflation, make prices drop while you print.  I am starting to see this whole pile of shit as an illuminati plot.  

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 15:29 | 3581391 SeattleBruce
SeattleBruce's picture

"I am starting to see this whole pile of shit as an illuminati plot."

Makes as much sense as anything else.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:19 | 3580585 Silverhog
Silverhog's picture

If you drive anywhere along Interstate 95  you could spend all day counting fancy new Caterpiller tractors in a never ending QE road construction. But maybe there is an end in sight.  

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:28 | 3580630 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Nobody listens to fisher. The newer members are all print until hyperinflation is triggered generation.

Maybe when the US dollar implodes they halt QE. Not before then.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:33 | 3580636 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Whether one can extrapolate general trends in the US economy based on how Caterpiller is doing in its North American market, is an open-ended (rhetorical) question which we leave to readers...

Ok... unless(Heavens forbid!)this is just another cruel set up...a la.. the chillingly infamous ..let a hundred flower bloom campaign of 50s Communist China...

I will indeed take up your offer - and comment upon want really lies behind the collapse of cat (sales)calls..

because, in their inimitable way... the TYLERS have loaded the gun...

What is more disturbing is that CAT equipment is used in far-broader economic activities than merely housing,

and left it on the table ... for some "deerhunter" type dude to pick up and...

the world's largest seller of bulldozers, excavators and wheel loaders, such focus was primarily targeted in the offshore markets, .... BINGO

see... the umm, 'surge' in Caterpillar sales of this current century occurred as a result of a militirization of the product line... which allowed for the Corp to create a devasting dozvestation of those front line Iraqi troops unlucky enough to have been entrenched in front of the new style Merikan Army... and got themselves ///buried alive\\\

this so appealed to the Cheney and Co blood sacrifice satanists of the War Dept that... somebody or other got the bright idea to export the most massive dozers the the world over to the (now unmentionable) beacon of democracy in the ME...(gratis mais qui!!!) where they were used with even more chilling effect pon the CIVILIAN populations of Palestine (Jenin) two years later...

and since I've already given the links for both those occurrences here previously... and ... links apparently are a part of the new nebula of nebulizing nogo here... I will of course refrain from further comment...

Takeaway - unfortunately for Cat shareholders and directors... despots of all descriptions currently have enough equipment in stock to bury everybody who fails to heed the clarion call of usury\interest banking fo'ever!

so... now we just sit back and wait... to see what took the bait... said the ZH Prelate...

twas my fate. To not hesitate. Truth always needs a witness. I am he.

Why can't we just have a financial kind of website -you know... none of that 'political nonsense>>>??

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:38 | 3580961 General Decline
General Decline's picture

The Isreali's weapon of choice to run over activists is a D8.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 14:10 | 3581075 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Tis my personal policy never to up(or down!)tick someone sponding pon one of my comments... therefore I can't upvote that...

but I can commend your accuracy in expanding upon the theme... in a concise yet explanatory fashion. +1 therefore

kudos y saludos.

Rachel Corrie Lives!

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 16:03 | 3581535 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Joyful, why can't you supply links?  When did this happen?

Increased Cat sales due to defense industry...  plausible, now cite the source please!

That is why I have read the ZH posts...    without this kind of discourse (telling other people were in information can be found) it is a waste of time.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:36 | 3580672 JR
JR's picture

Caterpillar Layoffs: Company Will Cut 11% Of Workers At Decatur, Illinois Plant By June | International Business Times

 April 05 2013  -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) acknowledged Fridayit will lay off about 11 percent of its workforce in Decatur, Ill,  as part of what it calls an ongoing series of production cuts. The Peoria-based manufacturer said the 460 layoffs will take effect in 60 days.

Caterpillar cited falling global demand for mining equipment as the reason for the cuts and noted it aims to "bring production in line with demand," according to company representative Rachel Potts.

The company has implemented temporary layoffs, line shutdowns and shortened workweeks at other plants. However, the cuts at this central Illinois plant, producing mostly mining equipment, will be permanent.

Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of mining equipment. It also makes construction equipment, gas turbines, diesel engines and railroad locomotives.

Decatur is in Macon County, which already has a 13.7 percent unemployment rate, the eighth-highest among the state's 102 counties, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Decatur, like so much of the Midwest that was dependent upon America’s homegrown manufacturing base that was seized and offshored by the international corporatists, is “in the transition from a manufacturing to a service economy, and is experiencing population decline and devastation of its raison d'etre…

from Wikipedia:

Decatur is home to the corporate headquarters of international agricultural conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland which laid off 335 workers in Decatur and 1200 companywide in 2012 according to Crain's Business newspaper.

Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1829 and is located along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500, and 76,122 in 2010, due to continued population decline. Prior to massive population loss, Decatur was the sixth-most populous city in Illinois. Now Decatur is listed as number fifteen among Illinois cities, as it lost 19% of its population from 1980 to 2010. According to Sperling's Best Places, Decatur's metropolitan area population is 114,749.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:39 | 3580690 wonderatitall
wonderatitall's picture

so! obama is a entitled black man bitches


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:47 | 3580721 JR
JR's picture

Update from The State Journal Register, Springfield, Ill (AP, May 03, 2013):

DECATUR — Caterpillar Inc. has announced plans to lay off an additional 300 employees at its Decatur plant within the next 60 days.

The Decatur Herald & Review reports the layoffs announced Friday come in the wake of plans announced last month to permanently lay off 460 employees at the plant. The company announced the layoffs were part of an effort to deal with a slump in the mining business.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:37 | 3580957 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

must be bonus time again

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 14:29 | 3581135 JR
JR's picture

And to get those bonuses all it took was the gutting of America - the outsourcing throughout the 1980s and onward by corporate “downsizing,” “streamlining,” “merging,” "offshoring” and "globalization" that eliminated whole levels of middle and upper management, not to mention those well-paying, made-in-the USA manufacturing jobs that employed America. And so, the fact that in the 1990s salaries barely kept up with the cost of living and taxes, according to Fortune magazine, continues onward today while the rich get richer via global manipulation and America's middle class gets poorer.

All, I might add, condoned by a willing “United States” Congress that is totally bought and paid for by the international owners of the world reserve fiat currency.

And in its heartland America is dying.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:59 | 3581039 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

Lets retrain those laid off to become day traders...They can boost the economy by making gazillion$ in the 'markets'



Look over there, it's a unicorn shitting skittles!

btw that's why CAT stock is's good bidness to lay off the muppets.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:39 | 3580689 anonnn
anonnn's picture

Allegedly: CATs own in-house business analysts searched for a reliable indicator of future sales. They found  thst the most reliable tell is that any quarterly sales weakness predicts recessionary conditions 6-months in advance.

[this from reading a forgotten reference on the subject]

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:42 | 3580708 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Actually seems health from my standpoint...2011 was a knee-jerk reaction to few sales in the previous couple years so this would be a "normal" state of affairs.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:50 | 3580739 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

We're on a freakin' financial mobius strip and we're about to run into ourselves. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:01 | 3580784 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Sweet.  Build moar killdozers.  Fixed and fixed.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:14 | 3580845 AndrewJackson
AndrewJackson's picture

I know a person that works at CAT and they are forcing corporate workers to take one week off / quarter unpaid in order to help reduce costs. 

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:25 | 3580891 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

What?  This is bullish!!!  BUY MOAR STOCK!!!! MOAR!!!!  MOAR!!!


What would really drive Caterpillar stock would be an outright bankruptcy - I bet the stock would split.



Mon, 05/20/2013 - 13:57 | 3581035 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Craterpillar (CRAT)

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 15:25 | 3581369 SeattleBruce
SeattleBruce's picture

"What is more disturbing is that CAT equipment is used in far-broader economic activities than merely housing, and likely is a far more accurate indicator of true industrial end-demand than any other number cherry-picked by the government."

Wait a second!  The United States Government cherry picks numbers?!  I'm SHOCKED I tell ya!!

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 15:40 | 3581447 BattlegroundEur...
BattlegroundEurope2011's picture


Mon, 05/20/2013 - 16:43 | 3581665 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

Pffft... Not even 2010 levels:

5-yr Baltic Dry Index Chart

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 17:40 | 3581822 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Demand will increase after the collapse.

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 18:54 | 3582102 steelrules
steelrules's picture

Does anyone on ZH really need CAT to tell us the economy is and has been FK'd since 08?

Mon, 05/20/2013 - 23:51 | 3583000 BigSpruce
BigSpruce's picture

I work in the forest products industry as a pulpwood buyer. I buy from over 100 different timber harvesting contractors. Out of that number nearly half have downsized considerably since 4th quarter 2012 and none that I can think of have bought any new woods harvesting equipment in the last year.  A few have replaced older equipment with slightly newer used equipment -but thats about it. 

Despite the fairly stable and continued demand for raw fiber and wood ( for other uses than just building materials) there is little investment being made by those businessmen harvesting the wood. When asked a T nearly everyone of them has said - why bother? They all say the meager return they will receive on the capital expenditure for the equipment cannot justify the investment. When you couple the high ticket price ( $ 650,000 for a new feller buncher for ex.) , with the increased costs for the employee running it, higher diesel fuel prices, upkeep costs etc.. to cut a product that has barely gone up in price in the last 10 years - it makes no business sense whatsoever to buy new equipment - let alone expand .    In short inflation is ravaging these guys and I might add anyone else that is producing raw materials that our society needs. Its really sad to see. The producers get screwed while the parasites thrive. 

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